Saturday, September 06, 2008

Endoscopy fun!

Yesterday I had to take Spouse for an endoscopy at 9:45. He's trying to find out what's causing his 'noisy stomach'.

The endoscopy place is only about 2 miles from our house, and since they said the procedure takes about 10 minutes, followed by 20-30 minutes recovery, I figured we'd be back home in about an hour. No problem, I'd just use my lunch break to shuttle him, and not bother using any leave.

Well... we arrived just before 9:45 and Spouse was given the cursory paperwork to fill out, which probably took 5 minutes max. And then we sat and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

Finally at 11:00 they called his name and he left the waiting area, which by the way had no music and no TV. It was just silence, occasionally punctuated by the calling of a patient's name.

So I was a bit ticked off that his 9:45 appointment resulted in us sitting in the waiting room for 75 minutes until 11:00, but I figured that since he was finally back there now, we'd likely be ready to go home in about a half hour. Had I known this would not be the case, I would have dropped him off and gone back to work until the office called and said he was ready to be picked up.

But I was wrong. Very, very wrong.

After flipping through Newsweek and various fashion magazines from 2005 and 2006 for about 40 minutes after Spouse had gone into the back, a nurse finally came to the waiting room at 11:40 and made an announcement.

"I'm sorry to say that we are running behind today, probably about 1 1/2 hours behind. There's no equipment malfunctions or power failures or anything like that to blame it on. Its just one of those days when it seems every procedure takes longer than expected. If anyone would like to leave and come back in an hour and a 1/2 or so, please check in with the office manager before you leave. Again, I'm sorry for the delay."

Great. This is the kind of thing that really ticks me off. If a patient or a client were to be 15 minutes late to a doctor's appointment or hair salon appointment, the office manager would give them all kinds of attitude and say something snarky like "Let me see if we can still fit you in or not", leaving you wondering if you'll have to reschedule for yet another inconvenient date. But they appear to have no qualms what-so-ever allowing patients and clients to wait on them for extended periods of time.

By this time, I'd already been away from work for 2 hours, but I felt I couldn't leave because I knew Spouse had already been called to the back. I figured he was probably in 'recovery' at the moment, and that we'd be going home soon.

But again, I was wrong. Very, very wrong.

Again I sat in the waiting room with no music, no TV, and 3 year old fashion magazines. Do you know how ironic it is to be looking through the Aug 2005 issue of InStyle magazine with the feature article "What's Hot and What's Not Today?"

12:00 came and went.

12:30 came and went.

Finally at 12:45 - 3 hours after arriving - they called me back to the recovery area where Spouse was, still in his hospital gown, and still connected to all kinds of machinery. The doctor came over a few minutes later and said he didn't see anything bad, but did take a small sample of a small area of redness for a biopsy, which he explained was just his protocol. Then the nurse gave us the post-procedure care instructions and told Spouse he could get dressed.

At 1:05 we walked out of the office. Mind you, endoscopy patients can't eat or drink anything for at least 8 hours before the procedure. Spouse's last food and drink were around 7pm the night before, and now it was 1:05 in the afternoon.

I was nervous that my unexplained absence from work might have been noticed, even though the morning had started off slowly. Sure enough, I returned to a voice mail and urgent email from a colleague, so I had to explain that I'd been detained unexpectedly at the doctor's visit. It wasn't a big deal in the end, but it could have been.

Having good insurance is a mixed bag. Yeah, they pay for most everything, but that makes you feel like you can/should go to the doctors whenever you feel something isn't right so that you can get the benefit of having such good insurance!

I guess I should stop whining and be happy that Spouse was only going for a 'noisy stomach'. We are both fortunate to be in extremely good health.

Crush du Jour: Josh Duhamel


Breenlantern said...

as someone who spends entirely too much time in doctor's offices, I totally agree and feel your pain. I am tired of doctors' time being more valuable than my own, and even with good benefits, my time is not unlimited and nobody does my work while I'm gone!!!!! Sorry for the hassle, but glad to here no alarms went up....

Java said...

I'm glad things turned out well after the procedure. I hope all is well now.

I get really irritated about the inconsiderate waiting times. I was in a doctor's office waiting room when we lived in Atlanta 23 years ago now. The waiting room was crowded and service was very slow. About 11:45 one of the nurses came into the room and turned the lights down. No explanation, just lowered the light. Someone asked why, and she said they were going on their lunch break. WHAT?? Obviously the lumps of flesh sitting int the waiting room weren't actually people, didn't have places to be, didn't need LUNCH for crying out loud!! I was so pissed. We didn't go back to that doctor again, and ended up threatening him with legal action on another matter. I hope he went out of business early.
sorry. Got carried away there.

RAD said...

So irritating!! I hate going to the docs office--it seems to ALWAYS be a waiting game....But Im happy you are both in good health!

A Lewis said...

Can't you think of a better and more appropriate way to put something down his throat?

A Lewis said...

Can't you think of a better and more appropriate way to put something down his throat?

Anonymous said...

It's strang (isn't it?) that the only places that pretend not to worry about time are the MD, DMV, and USPS.

tornwordo said...

Is that the thing where they put the camera up your butt? Lewis said down your throat, so I guess I'm wrong.

That'll teach you for using the insurance just because ; )

joe*to*hell said...

i just wanna know - what is a noisy stomach

Thomas said...

My father used to be an automotive mechanic. His doctor came in to have his car repaired once. My dad had the doctor sit in his waiting room and told him he'd be right with him. That doctor waited 45 minutes before my dad returned. The doctor said something about it and my father told him "what goes around comes around." My father's future visits to the doctor sailed like clockwork.